Practice Blog

To share practice related stories, create connections and engage readers in the amazing diversity of dietitian experiences.


Sport nutrition: 5 important considerations for dietitians working with athletes

Dietitian Vincci Tsui shares her top five takeaways from an intensive 4-day sport nutrition course.

VincciHS1.jpgVincci Tsui is a registered dietitian practicing in Calgary, Alberta. She is passionate about helping elite and recreational athletes reach their personal best with real nutrition solutions that fit into their busy, active lifestyles. Vincci has been practising Muay Thai for years and is hoping to finally win a fight in 2016! She is a social media addict and can be found on Twitter @VincciRD, on Instagram @vincci_t, and on her website at

Last November, I attended a 4-day intensive sport nutrition course in Calgary, held jointly by the Dietitians of Canada Sport Nutrition Network and Sports Dietitians Australia. Many dietitians flew in from across the country for the event.

The course was packed with practical knowledge from some of the top experts in the field, as well as many opportunities to get hands-on with the information and network with other dietitians. You can read tweets from the event by searching the #DCSNN hashtag on Twitter.

There were many exceptional learning experiences and memorable moments throughout the course, but I have narrowed these down to my top five takeaways ... continue reading

3 simple ways to upgrade your ethical decision-making skills

Sarah Hewko, dietitian and doctoral candidate, discusses how investing in your moral development can enhance clinical performance.

SHHS1.JPGSarah Hewko, RD, MHA, PhD(c) is a health services researcher with a particular interest in health human resources and performance management. For her doctoral research, she is seeking to better understand retirement decisions among health care professionals. Sarah is currently on the Dietitians of Canada Board of Directors and is chair-elect for the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research Board of Directors. She recently published a paper in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior titled, “Strengthening Moral Reasoning Through Dedicated Ethics Training in Dietetic Preparatory Programs.” Sarah lives in Edmonton with her husband and two children. You can reach her at or on Twitter @Sarah_Hewko.

In my experience, registered dietitians are ethical, conscientious, and patient-centered health care professionals. However, as is true of all skills – the skills required to effectively negotiate ethical problems can be sharpened and honed to enhance effectiveness and minimize work-related stress.
For me, dedicating time to enhancing my ethical problem-solving skills has led to me feeling more confident as I approach ethical decision-making in my practice. As a result, I am less likely to carry around residual stress in the days and weeks following a particularly difficult decision or case.
The importance of honing these skills first became clear to me ... continue reading

The growing season of retail dietitians

Nicole Fetterly is the Nutrition Operations Manager at Choices Markets in British Columbia, a chain of natural and organic supermarkets. She is a busy mom of two kids, ages five and three, with whom she loves to cook and who helped her proudly win the Popular Vote in this year’s BC Dairy Foundation Better Together Hands-On Cook-Off Contest! Nicole plays an education and advocacy role for her sector of the profession and recently spoke at Grocery Innovations Canada on the ROI of retail dietitians.

I always knew I wanted to work as a supermarket dietitian, even back while attending university a decade ago. It seemed like the best time and place to reach people with nutrition education—when they are making their decisions about what foods to bring home.

Back then there were only one or two retailers in BC and a couple more across the country with a nutrition program. Even when I finally did make the shift from clinical practice to a retail position four years ago, I was one of only a handful of dietitians doing this kind of work. It was pretty obvious when I attended Dietitians of Canada conferences and other dietitian events that I was in a tiny minority.

The tide is turning
This year something happened that really opened my eyes to the emerging market of retail dietitians. continue reading

Beyond bar graphs: The unexpected discoveries of research

Brandon completed his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University where his research projects focused on pediatric obesity. Currently, he is a full time term faculty member at Mount Saint Vincent University and a research assistant at the IWK Health Centre. To date Brandon has received funding from CIHR, NSERC, was recognized as a Scotia Scholar by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation and most recently was awarded the Atlantic Region and National Morgan Medal by the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research.  You can reach Brandon at

My throat is dry and palms sweaty as I frantically search my pockets for my emergency thumb drive and stare at a white apple on a grey screen, slowly coming to terms with the reality of a failed hard drive. It’s my first day of lecturing 80 undergraduate students enrolled in Introduction to Macronutrients.
Four months earlier ... continue reading


Why can’t hospitals sell junk food? Capital health’s journey to healthy eating – Part 1

Jane-head-shot.jpgJane Pryor is the Director of Operations Support for Capital District Health Authority in Halifax, NS. Jane started her career in clinical nutrition but quickly switched to administrative dietetics where she found her passion in managing various programs and services through the years. Jane’s current portfolio includes FNS, Maintenance & Plant Operations, Porter Services, Mail Services, Supply Chain and coordinator of Capital Health’s Environmental Program. Jane can be reached at (902)473-2205 or by email at

This is my first time blogging – I am technologically challenged – but this is an important story to tell and one that we at Capital Health are very proud of. Being asked to participate in the Medical Post story in May 2014 entitled “Why hospitals can survive, and thrive, without fast food,” and getting our successes out there, provided another opportunity to showcase our efforts at Capital Health. So when I asked, “How do I blog?” I was told to, “Write what you know.” So here it goes.
When I attended university in the early 1980s, one question we were asked to debate was, “Should hospital cafeterias sell french fries?” The answer, of course, was yes – we are dealing with adults and they can choose what they want to eat. continue reading

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